Higher pay for public service engineers hurts private sector

The Government has announced that engineering graduates joining the public sector will get higher pay ("Higher starting pay for public service engineers"; April 14).

While I understand that the Government needs to hire more engineers, I question the need to do so now, when our economy is in a downturn.

Private companies will be forced to match the new pay scale or risk losing their engineers to the public sector.

This will be detrimental to their businesses, when many of them are already facing manpower shortages.

I suggest that the Government look at other ways to attract engineers, such as job redesign and improvement to the workplace environment.

After all, salary is not the only criterion in applying for or staying in a job.

Raising salaries to increase engineer intake is short-sighted and may not be the best move, at least not in this economic climate.

Kwok Shao Jong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2016, with the headline 'Higher pay for public service engineers hurts private sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe